What is ‘at capacity’ anyway?

What is meant by the term ‘at capacity’?

As VAs, there is a lot of talk online, in networking forums and social media about reaching or being at “capacity” but I know that, for many, this term can be confusing. It basically means that your client rosta is full and you do not wish to take on any new clients or increase your current client projects / retainers / hours.

A lot of VAs see this as the holy grail of their business. They might rush, rush, rush and work, work, work to fill their schedule because it means that their income will be maxed out and they are bringing more money in. I totally understand the desire for this. Afterall, for most of us we run a  business to bring in money that allows us freedom in our lives, to support our family and livelihoods. So it makes sense that more clients and chargeable hours worked = more money, right?

Well, in my experience, it doesn’t always work like that because what I often see happening with my 1-1 Mentees and happened to me, is that you can quickly become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work you have on your plate. If you max out your hours this way, you will literally be doing client work as soon as you sit down in your chair until you log off your computer at the end of your dedicated work slot.

Where do you fit in time to work on your own business?

Where do you create marketing content?

Where do you file your invoices?

All of the things that we all need to do to run our businesses can quickly be eaten up by being ‘on’ with client work.

Now, of course, you may hire an Associate or your own VA to support you with all of your on business administration, that is definitely one way of working. But this takes away the onus from you as a business owner having so many decisions on the major parts of running your business.

It’s also key to remember that everyone’s capacity looks very different. It could be your capacity is 15 hours a week, whereas someone else’s is 38. We mustn’t get caught up in comparisonitis around this area of being a VA; it’s entirely personal.

OBM Clients
OBM Clients

What if there is another way?

I believe, from my own experience, that one key other way of running your business at the same income level but by not working every single hour of the day / evening / weekend and becoming burnt out, is to work on a package basis, rather than an hourly basis. With packages, you not only get to focus on the parts of your business that you actually really love doing and are brilliant at, but it gets you away from the ‘minutes on the clock’ style of VA working that most of us start out doing.

Don’t get me wrong here: there is nothing wrong with working in an ‘x hours a month’ way, I would just encourage you to consider what happens when all of those hours are filled and to ask yourself:

– how will I manage this?

– will I have spare time to focus on my own business?

– will this allow me free time to focus on hobbies and the things that I love doing?

– will this make me happy?

It is so easy to get “busy” in our work and things can snowball. I’d love you to spend some time, after you’ve read this, really pondering this topic, where you are with it now and what you could – perhaps – do differently so that your business works for you, as well as for your clients.

Sign up to my newsletter for ways to help you work in a way that suits you better.

Big love,

Natalia x

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